Fourth-quarter surge sends No. 4 Dinos past No. 7 Bears
Photo credit Alberta Athletics
EDMONTON - The No.4 ranked University of Calgary Dinos scored 17 fourth-quarter points, storming back from an eight-point deficit to stun the No.7 ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears with a 23-14 victory, Saturday afternoon at Foote Field in Edmonton.
Third-year Dinos' defensive back Tye Noble, who hails from Winnipeg, intercepted a tipped, fourth-quarter Julian Marchand pass and returned it 45 yards, putting Calgary up 20-14 with six minutes to play. The play came 34 seconds after Calgary running back Anthony Woodson barreled into the Alberta end zone from one yard out.
Freshman receiver Mike Wojcicki scored Alberta's lone major of the game, hauling in a 22-yard TD pass from Marchand late in the first quarter.
"There is always breaking points in a game," said Alberta head coach Jerry Friesen. "There was a couple of times in the game today where we had an opportunity, but we let it slip away."
The Golden Bears, who were celebrating their 100 years of football history at the U of A, led for 53 minutes, but saw it all evaporate in two plays.
Alberta opened the scoring when they pinned Calgary's offence deep and forced them to concede a safety at 7:09 of the first.
Eight minutes later, Marchand, a former Dino from Cochrane, AB, found Wojcicki just inside the goal line and the rookie receiver made a great vertical catch, despite blanket coverage.
Fourth-year Edmonton kicker Hugh O'Neill, recently rated the No.10 Canadian prospect by the CFL scouting bureau, traded field goals with veteran Calgary kicker Aaron Ifield, who also connected on a field goal late in the second quarter, giving the hometown Bears a 12-6 half-time lead.
Alberta's defence, which did not give up a touchdown in last week's 31-6 win over Manitoba, once again forced the Dinos to give up two points, this time in the third quarter, putting the Bears up 14-6 midway through the third.
But in the fourth quarter, the Dinos' offence, being run by rookie quarterback Eric Dzwilewski, found its groove along the ground as they chewed up 10 plays, including nine running plays, and 68 yards, eventually culminating in Woodson's one-yard rush.
The freshman signal caller is starting in place of injured QB Eric Glavic, who continues to sit on the sideline with a week one injury. However, Dzwilewski, who is from Boise, Idaho, is now 2-0 as a starter in CIS football after winning in Regina last week.
The Evergreen and Gold defence certainly kept him on his toes, sacking him four times and twice picking off his passes inside the red zone, but the mobile freshman did find success rushing the ball, carrying 17 times for 91 yards. He completed just seven of his 20 passes, however, and no Calgary receiver caught more than two passes.
Marchand, on the other hand, did have success for most of the game, completing 12 of 28 passes for 146 yards and one TD, but tossed three interceptions late in the fourth.
"Those plays are like the flip of a coin," Marchand said. "It either comes up a big play for us, or a big play for them. I'm definitely upset that we lost the game, but I am not going to stop taking risks late in a game when we need to make plays."
Freshman linebacker Tyler Greenslade, an Edmonton product, was all over the football in just his third CIS game, recording 8.5 tackles and two sacks.
Linden Gaydosh led the Dinos defence with 9.5 tackles and one sack.
The loss drops Alberta to 2-1 and leaves them looking for their first win over Calgary since 2008. They'll look to improve their record to 3-1 next Friday when they host the 1-1 Saskatchewan Huskies at 7:00 pm at Foote Field.
The Dinos now improve to 2-1, and will face the Manitoba Bisons (1-2) next week in Winnipeg.
ALTA – TEAM Safety, 7:51, 2-0 ALTA
ALTA – Wojcicki 22-yard TD pass from Marchand (O'Neill convert), 13:31, 9-0 ALTA
CGY – Ifield 31-yard FG, 2:00, 9-3 ALTA
ALTA – O'Neill 22-yard FG, 9:34, 12-3 ALTA
CGY – Ifield 23-yard FG, 12:01, 12-6 ALTA
ALTA – TEAM Safety, 2:24, 14-6 ALTA
CGY – Woodson 1-yard TD run (2-point convert failed), 8:23, 14-12 ALTA
CGY – Noble 45-yard interception return TD (Snyder pass from Dzwilewski), 20-14 CGY
CGY – Ifield 25-yard FG, 14:09, 23-14 CGY
Alberta Sports Info